Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access

32 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2011

See all articles by Jason M. Lindo

Jason M. Lindo

Texas A&M University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Isaac D. Swensen

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

We consider the effect of legal access to alcohol, which is known to increase drinking behavior, on academic performance. We first estimate the effect using an RD design but argue that this approach is not well-suited to the research question in our setting. Our preferred approach instead exploits the longitudinal nature of the data, essentially identifying the effect by comparing a student's academic performance before and after turning 21. We find that students' grades fall below their expected levels upon being able to drink legally, but by less than previously documented. We also show that there are effects on women and that the effects are persistent. The main results are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, individual trends, and individual quadratics, in addition to other controls, that account for the expected evolution of performance as students make progress towards their degrees.

Keywords: alcohol, post-secondary education, minimum legal drinking age

JEL Classification: I21, I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Lindo, Jason M. and Swensen, Isaac D. and Waddell, Glen R., Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5525, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1771247

Jason M. Lindo (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Isaac D. Swensen

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States

Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-346-1259 (Phone)
541-346-1243 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
58
Abstract Views
802
rank
327,201
PlumX Metrics